By Tim Bildhauser, CBCS International Comic Specialist, Overstreet Advisor, and Associate Editor of Foreign Comic Collector Magazine, October 2019
“Regardless of which perspective one may have about CPVs, there’s no doubt and no denying that they’re becoming a greater force in the mainstream of comic collecting and that having them properly identified and notated, especially on the certified grading side of things, has helped establish and continues to grow the appreciation for them.”
Here we are again a year later. I find myself at the keyboard looking for the words to share some of the observations made and experiences I’ve had in the last 12 months in relation to Canadian Price Variants.
Within the last year I’ve made five trips up to the Great White North for various comic conventions and what I’ve seen has been fairly consistent in terms of the CPV market in both Canada and the States. There seems to be four distinct perspectives in the comic collecting world when it comes to CPVs.
- Those who are aware and appreciate the need for distinction.
- Those who are aware of them and are completely indifferent.
- Those who aren’t aware of them at all.
- The international collectors (myself included) who are, plain and simple, nuts and insist on having copies for their collection.
The majority of dealers in Canada that are in the know appear to be of the mindset that the only CPVs worth pricing at a premium are key issues, copies in high grade and the more popular titles such as Batman, Detective Comics, Amazing Spider-Man etc.
Two of the bigger fish in the CPV pond are Amazing Spider-Man #238 (1st appearance of Hobgoblin) and G.I. Joe #21 (the famous “silent issue” and 1st appearance of Stormshadow). Both of these are very sought after, difficult to find in high grade and sell for a good amount more than their U.S. counterparts even in low and mid-grade.
The ASM #238 in particular sells for a fair amount with the Tattoos insert still intact and in grades of 8.0 and higher I’ve seen asking prices ranging from $600 to $2,000 in both CAD and USD. Of the 19 editions of this book I’ve identified worldwide, the CPV is the last one on the list I was able to acquire. That’s not to say it’s the one with the highest level of scarcity but finding a copy at the right price given the grade proved to be a bit of a challenge (Thank you to Angelo Virone for helping with it!).
On at least half a dozen occasions this year, while working the CBCS booth at conventions, I saw customers submitting CPVs and commented about it. In most of those cases they didn’t even realize what they had!
The majority of CPVs I see being submitted for grading tend to be key issues and the top five in no particular order are probably:
|Amazing Spider-Man #238|
|Amazing Spider-Man #252|
|Secret Wars #1|
|Secret Wars #8|
|Tales of the Teen Titans #44|
Regardless of which perspective one may have about CPVs, there’s no doubt and no denying that they’re becoming a greater force in the mainstream of comic collecting and that having them properly identified and notated, especially on the certified grading side of things, has helped establish and continues to grow the appreciation for them.
CBCS — International Comic Specialist & Sales
Foreign Comic Collector Magazine — Associate Editor
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide — Advisor